Rail accidents in Winsford

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There have been three major rail accidents near Winsford in Cheshire:

1948 accident

Winsford rail accident (1948)
Winsford rail incident 2064689 dbe10192.jpg
Date 17 April 1948
Time 00:27
Location Winsford railway station, Cheshire
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Country England
Rail line West Coast Main Line
Cause Signalling error
Statistics
Trains 2
Deaths 24
Injuries 10
List of UK rail accidents by year

On 17 April 1948, 24 people died when the 17:40 Glasgow to London Euston train was stopped after the communication cord was pulled by a passenger (a soldier on leave who presumably lived near Winsford and was seen to leave the train after it had stopped). The stopped train was then run into by a following postal express hauled by LMS Coronation Class 4-6-2 No 6251 City of Nottingham.[1] The collision happened at between 40 and 45 mph (64 and 72 km/h) and was so severe that only five of the ten passenger coaches could be pulled away on their wheels and only the rear eight of the 13 Postal coaches could be pulled back. 24 passengers were killed. The signalman at Winsford had, in error, reported the passenger train clear of the section and accepted the postal train. The person who pulled the emergency cord was a railway employee who worked as a signalbox lad in Winsford Junction, but was currently serving in the army having been called up. He thought that the train would be perfectly safe because he knew how the signalling equipment of the time in that area worked; but he did not know that the train had stopped short of the track circuit, which would have reminded the signalman of its presence. He attended the enquiry to confess, and was still a signalman in Winsford Junction until he retired in the 1990s.[2]

1962 accident - Coppenhall Junction

Coppenhall Junction rail crash
File:Coppenhall Junction rail crash.jpg
Date 26 December 1962
Time 18:01
Location Coppenhall Junction, Cheshire
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Country England
Rail line West Coast Main Line
Cause Signal passed at danger
Statistics
Trains 2
Passengers ~800
Deaths 18
Injuries 34
List of UK rail accidents by year

On the evening of 26 December 1962, cold weather and snow in and around Crewe had caused points to become frozen and trains were being detained at signals. About midway between Winsford and Crewe, the English Electric type 4 diesel D346 hauled 13:30 Glasgow Central to London Euston Midday Scot with 13 coaches and 500 passengers was stopped at a signal but the driver found the telephone to Coppenhall Junction, the next signal box ahead, out of order. Seeing the next signal ahead he decided to proceed down towards it and use the telephone there, but in the darkness failed to notice the 16:45 express from Liverpool Lime Street to Birmingham New Street, hauled by an electric locomotive with eight coaches with 300 passengers, standing on the line ahead and collided with it at about 20 mph (32 km/h).[3]

The rear coaches of the Liverpool train were badly damaged in the collision, some of them being telescoped.[4] 18 passengers were killed and 34 were injured.

1999 accident

Winsford (1999) rail crash
Date 23 June 1999
Location Winsford
Country England
Rail line West Coast Main Line
Cause SPAD due to human error
Statistics
Trains 2
Deaths 0
Injuries 31
List of UK rail accidents by year

On 23 June 1999, a Virgin Trains electric express train from London Euston to Glasgow Central ran into an empty four-carriage Pacer unit, injuring 31 people. The express had been travelling at about 110 mph (180 km/h), but driver Roy Eccles noticed the Pacer on the line and was able to decelerate to about 50 mph (80 km/h) at the time of impact. Eccles was awarded a medal for his prompt action, which averted a much more serious accident. The driver of the Pacer train helped passengers from the Glasgow Central train despite his injuries. The Pacer had passed a signal at danger and run through a set of points, coming to a stand on the line on which the express was approaching. Its rear cab was destroyed in the crash along with a section of the passenger accommodation, and the coach bodies were displaced from their underframes. The incident report[5] stated that the accident was most likely to have been human error of the Pacer driver as the investigation showed no faults with either the signalling system or the brakes of the Pacer train.

See also

Notes

  1. various authors (1996). British Railway Disasters. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-711-024707.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[page needed]
  2. Wilson, Lt-Col GRS (1948). Railway Accidents: Report on the Collision Which Occurred on the 17th April, 1948, at Winsford in the London Midland Region of British Railways (PDF). London: HMSO for the Ministry of Transport.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. McMullen, Col D (1963). Report on the Collision that occurred on 26th December 1962 between Winsford station and Coppenhall Junction in the London Midland Region of British Railways (PDF). London: HMSO for the Ministry of Transport.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Rolt, LTC (1976) [1955]. "12". Red for Danger. London: Pan Books.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Report by the Health and Safety Executive's Railway Inspectorate into the train accident at Winsford South Junction on 23 June 1999" (PDF). Health and Safety Executive. 1999.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Sources